Right-turn ban plan failure

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PLANS to ban motorists from turning into a residential street close to a Wigan motorway junction are set to be rejected by the town hall.

Residents had raised safety concerns about the entrance to Shelley Drive off Orrell Road, near the slip road to junction 26 of the M6.

They argued motorists travelling towards Pemberton should not be permitted to turn right into Shelley Drive, citing several accidents caused by vehicles crossing the double carriageway leading to the motorway slip road.

But council planning officers have opted to abandon any proposals because of the strain it would put on the entrance to nearby Bankes Avenue.

And because they believe the new M58 link road - which is currently at a consultation stage - will ease any concerns. A report detailing the decision will be presented to the town hall’s regulation committee this week.

It states: “Residents stated that when the accidents have occurred, vehicles attempting to turn right into Shelley Drive pull into the box junction.

“As visibility is restricted when vehicles are waiting in the box junction it is claimed that the right turning vehicles have pulled out into oncoming traffic in the M6 lane, resulting in collisions.”

The council received 44 letters of objection and four letters in support.

The report adds: “The objectors claim that the proposal will not resolve the situation at the junction of Shelley Drive; they will simply move them from one street to another. They also feel that the proposal impacts on residents rather than drivers who choose to use the estate as a rat run.”

In reaching their conclusion, officers took into account “three recorded personal injury accidents” had taken place at the junction but “only one of these accidents involved a right turning vehicle and resulted in two casualties”.

Adding: “It is claimed that there have also been accidents which have not resulted in injuries and are therefore not included on the database.”

Although in the same period there were two reported accidents caused by the right turn into Bankes Avenue, resulting in four casualties.

The report concludes: “The M58 link road, when it is constructed, is likely to lessen the problem at the Shelley Drive junction as the route will provide a direct link to Wigan town centre from the motorway and therefore reduce the queue l engths on Orrell Road at junction 26 and remove the need for vehicles to use the Shelley Drive estate as a rat run.

“Given that the junction of Bankes Avenue has a greater number of recorded personal injury accidents that involve right turning vehicles than the junction of Shelley Drive, we would not currently wish to implement a proposal that will increase the number of right turning vehicles into this junction.

“This in turn then may result in an increased number of accidents at the Bankes Avenue junction.”

The committee will meet on Friday.